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U.S. looking to keep Gitmo tribunals

May 2, 2009 at 11:27 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- The White House is reviving a modified version of former U.S. President George Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees, administration sources say.

The moves, which will almost certainly draw protests from human rights advocates who supported President Barack Obama because of his promises to abolish the tribunals, are being made necessary by major obstacles to trying some terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in U.S. federal courts, unnamed sources told Saturday's New York Times.

Administration officials are concerned that judges will make it all but impossible to try detainees who were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques that many call torture, or to use hearsay evidence gathered against them by spy agencies, the newspaper said.

Because of the legal hurdles, Obama administration officials are reportedly seeking to modify the Bush-era military commissions by providing more legal protections for the terrorism suspects.

"The more they look at it, the more commissions don't look as bad as they did on Jan. 20 (when Obama took office)," an anonymous official told the Times.

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